The Courtesan’s Secret

Written by Claudia Dain
Review by Monica Spence

The “secret” of Claudia Dain’s latest Regency is that it is laugh-out-loud funny.
Lady Louisa Kirkland’s bid to retrieve her pearl necklace from the handsome Marquis of Dutton is propelled by her unspoken desire to marry Dutton. What she does not know is that her long-time friend and secret admirer, Lord Henry Blakesley, has wagered with Dutton, using the pearls and Louisa as the prizes. When Louisa seeks the help of former courtesan Sophia, Countess of Dalby, to recover the pearls, she does not realize she is setting the stage for a series of misadventures, as well as for a rollicking good time for the reader.

On a few occasions, the author’s head-hopping pulled me out of the story, but it did not spoil the read. Though this novel stands alone, it is the second part of a three-book series featuring Lady Sophia. The references to the plot and characters of Dain’s previous novel, The Courtesan’s Daughter, makes me anxious to read it in order to get more of the character’s back story.
I recommend The Courtesan’s Secret to lovers of the Regency era, and for someone looking for a great, funny read.